Mini review of Dell Vostro 3450

YeuEmMaiMai

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
17,812
My review of the Dell Vostro 3450

Disclaime: This review is based upon buying the machine new for $735.04 delivered from the Dell Outlet.

Initial Impressions:

The system arrived in a large box offering good protection and included the following

Laptop
90W power adapter
Dell branded Windows 7 DVD
Warranty booklet
Regulatory information booklet

System config:

Windows 7 Professional SP1
Intel Core i7 2640m
4GB ram
AMD 7650 1GB
Seagate 500GB 5400rpm drive
8x DVD burner
Centrino 1030 wireless N + BT 3.0
Fingerprint reader
1336*768 panel (Chi Mei)
backlit keyboard
48WHr 6 cell battery

Build quality:

This machine is extremely solid with no chassis flex. The island style back lit keyboard is above average and works really well. The touchpad is responsive and does not have any issues with multi finger jestures. Oddly enough, the trackpad has an orange LED that lights up when it is disabled vs the rest of the system's white LEDs.Dell also provides 3 dedicated keys 1 for Windows Mobility Center, Dell Support Center, and a third one for the application of your choice. The finis does a good job oh hiding fingerprints and the metal looking plastic is a nice touch. If the past Vostros are any indicagtion, this machine should last a long time.

System Setup:

Powerd up the system and you are asked to enter in your account information and then presented with the desktop. Ran Windows Update and 66 updates later, we're good to go. The system came with the following software installed

Dell Data Secure
Dell Support Center
Dell Webcam Central
Roxio Creator Starter
Trend Micro

Congrats Dell for keeping the bloatware to a minimum.

I'm not going to load the review with a lot of benchmarks other than Batman Arkham City which averages 37fps @ 1336*768 when using DX11 medium details using Cat 12.8 ance which is good enough for me. I like the fact that AMD asks you what performance level you would like to ue for your apps.

Noise Levels:

It's a laptop, and as such, it does generate more noise than a typical desktop but it is not bad at all under normal use. It does get louder when you ask the machine to do something that is CPU or GPU intensive. I do not find the noise to be anything out of the ordinary.

Portability:

it's not the smallest or lightest 14" laptop out there but it is easy to carry around in your backpack.

Observed battery life:

The 6 cell battery will give about 3.25 hours of run time, the 9 cell should give almost twice that (48Wh vs 90Wh) The

Vostro is definately light enough to carry around all day as it comes in at just under 5lbs including adapter. Gaming will

give you 1 and 2 hours respectively. Typical of Dell machines, the Battery stick out of the machine.

LCD Screen:

This is 1 of the 2 major gripes with the laptop. The screen is crap and has a very limited viewing angles and average color reproduction. Once I get the video cable for the 900p screen, it's getting changed out. Change out is easy if you are not changing resolution you just snap the bezel off and then remove 6 screws, move the LCD forward and remove the 4 screws holding it to the frame rails. Finally you unplug your cable on the back. Reverse to install.

Upgradeability:

Memory is easy enough to access as all you have to do is remove the bottom cover and it is right there. Since this is a Sandy Bridge machine, max memory is 16GB for this CPU (Dell claims 8, but 16 works just fine according to people on the Dell laptop forum at notebookreview).

Changing out the DVD drive is also just as easy as once you remove the bottom cover, you remove the retaining screw and the drive slides right out. I changed mine to a BD-Rom burner (Panasonic UJ240)

Now we have reached the second major gripe... Changing out the HDD is a rather involved process of litterally dissasembling the entire machine right down to the system board where the HDD is attached to it. Interstingly enough, the MB is mounted upside down in the system. If you mess up the machine during the process, your warranty will be VOID. Thankfully I Was able to swap my drive out for the WDC 750GB 7200rpm Scorpio without leaving a mark on the machine.

Ports:

Machine actually has decent expandibility and includes the following ports for one to use.

VGA
HDMI
2 USB 2.0
2 USB 3.0
Express card slot
8-1 card reader
Gigabit Ethernet
Mic and headphone jacks

Security Features:

Password for BIOS and HDD
Cumputrace
Kingston cable lock

Warranty and support

Tech Support (Phone) 1 year
NBD on site support 1 year
Option to extend warranty is available

Final Verdict:

As delivered the machine is a great value for $699 (not including tax as that is different for everyone but my total was $735.04 if you must know). The machine was purchased new through the Dell Outlet and I have had it for about 2 weeks and I am more than happy with my purchase. I did do some upgrades to the machine for an additional $275 and that included the Blu-Ray drive, WDC Scorpio 750GB hdd, 8GB ram, and LG 1600*900 panel (not installed yet, waiting on cable from Dell Parts Depot). Gaming performance is actually quite good considering that this is a BUDGET business machine. Performance is what you would expect from the i7 CPU used. Even with upgrades that bring the machine to $900, it is still a good vales as I got the machine I wanted for a few hundred less than machine with weaker specs (Sony S 14" i5, 500GB, 4GB BD-Rom reader)

If you want good machines with great warranty, Dell Business machines are the way to go
 

YeuEmMaiMai

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
17,812
Well I just found out that this machine has a mSATA port and I have ordered a 120GB Adata drive so we'll see how this improves upon an already good machine
 

THELOU101

n00b
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
1
Well I just found out that this machine has a mSATA port and I have ordered a 120GB Adata drive so we'll see how this improves upon an already good machine
Hello YeuEmMaiMai
I own a dell vostro and i have been wanting to buy an msata ssd but from what dell says, i understande that the vostro 3450 does not have an msata slot. Could you please tell me if you managed to use an msata drive, did it show up as a drive, or was it recognized as a caching drive.
Thank you in advance.
Louis aka THELOU101
 
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